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Glad Tidings and Gadino Cellars

After we enjoyed holiday nibbles and wines at Gray Ghost Vineyards, we decided to pay a visit to Gadino Cellars for a tasting. It had been quite a while since our last tasting there, and we were eager to see if any new offerings were now available on the tasting menu.

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So on a very cold afternoon, we were warmly greeted by Stephanie, assistant wine maker and daughter of owners Bill and Aleta Gadino. As always, we started with the white wines. Our favorite? The 2007 Viognier with its floral nose and peach flavors. Treatment in Hungarian oak provides a softer oak finish. Paul was disappointed to learn that his favorite, the Pinot Grigio was sold out. This was one of our summer favorites, and we await its return next year!

The red wines were then offered for tasting, and we both agreed that the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve was the gold star winner. In the mouth, mixed berry flavors ended with vanilla on the finish. Cabernet Franc is known for its spicy characteristic, and this vintage is no exception. Already a gold medal winner, this Cabernet Franc should be quite popular with holiday fare especially if roasted meats are on the menu. Paul was quite pleased that Merlot was back on the menu, and we were able to sample the 2005 Merlot Reserve. What a treat! All we needed was a cigar. Nice blackberry and dark cherry aromas with some tobacco to boot! Of course, Paul had already opened his 2005 Merlot Reserve a long time ago, but he was tempted to purchase another bottle.

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With our tasting done, I decided to treat Paul to a glass of the 2005 Merlot Reserve; of course, he had to share! As we sipped and watched the sunlight begin to fade into a lovely glow, Stephanie’s husband Derek stopped by for a brief chat. We learned that the 2007 Cabernet Franc Reserve is offered on restaurant menus including the acclaimed Restaurant Eve in Alexandria. (Note to Virginia wine lovers—if Virginia wines are offered on the wine list, please order a glass or bottle!)

Before we left Gadino Cellars, we made sure to give new homes to a couple of Gadino Cellars’ wines. We also extended our best holiday wishes to Stephanie with promises to return in the New Year. Looking for wines for the holidays? Be sure to visit Gadino Cellars and be certain to mention that Virginia Wine Time sent you.

And to our readers—HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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Holiday Open House

Last Sunday we went to Gray Ghost for their yearly Holiday Open House. We had a wonderful time tasting all the wines and enjoying all the nibbles. We also enjoyed all the decorations. We were lucky enough to visit on the day after the first major snow of the season. Looks like someone else was there on the same day!

Here are some pictures from the event.

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Another Visit To Narmada

Last Saturday after seeing the fall grape leaves at Gray Ghost, we stopped by Narmada to see what has been added to the tasting menu.

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Upon entering the gates we noticed they are now doing tastings in the winery among the tanks. Right away we ran into Rob Cox, the winemaker. He preceded to give us a tour of the facility. It’s just about complete. He took us to the unfinished tasting room that promises to be quite a space. We look forward to returning to see the completed tasting room.

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After our tour Rob directed us in tasting the line of Narmada wines. Many of them we tasted back in September but there were a few additions since our last visit. The three additions were the Chardonnay, the Viognier, and the Cabernet Franc.

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We enjoyed them all but the Viognier got our gold star on this visit. This viognier is steel fermented and it spends seven months on oak. I noted citrus fruit and melon. Warren noted honeysuckle and peach. We enjoyed this one so much we enjoyed a glass on the crush pad, which is set up with tables and chairs.

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While enjoying the our glass we got to chat briefly with Sudha Patil, one of the owners. She asked for any advice we might have for the winery. We informed her that they seemed to be doing everything right. We enjoy the wines, the scenery, and we’re sure we’ll enjoy the tasting room when it opens later this month. Plan a visit to Narmada soon and if you do, tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Fall Grape Leaves

On Saturday Warren and I went to Gray Ghost to pick up a few cases of wine. We noticed how beautiful the vineyards looked with the fall colors. Here are a few photos of the vineyards.

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Great Grapes Festival at Reston Town Center

On Sunday Warren and I had the opportunity to attend the Great Grapes Wine, Arts, & Food Festival at Reston Town Center. There were 15 wineries in attendance and many vendors and food booths at the festival. The weather was perfect for the occasion.

General Motors sponsored the event and had several new Buick LaCrosses parked at the event for people to check out and learn about. There were many representatives there offering cool Buick wine bottle stoppers for answering a few questions about the new Buick LaCrosse. Warren and I both answered the questions correctly and walked away with our own wine bottle stopper!

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We made our way around the event visiting many of the 15 wineries. Here are some of the wineries we visited and which wines got our gold stars.

Cooper Vineyards-We had the chance to taste Cooper Vineyards wines back in July when they appeared at Hartwood Winery. It was good to see some familiar faces. Our gold stars went to the 2008 Coopertage Blanc and the 2008 Petit Verdot. We walked away with bottles of both of these.

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Chateau Morrisette-I once called this winery the Disneyland of Virginia wineries but my opinion has changed somewhat. We have tasted their wines for a long time and this time our gold stars went to the Viognier and the Cabernet Franc.

Fabbioli Cellars-We love all the wines that Doug produces. We always enjoy talking with Doug as well. While we do love all the wines, the gold stars went to the 2008 8 Chains LoCo Vino and the 2008 Cabernet Franc.

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Vino Curioso-We have only ever tasted these wines at festivals. We know they are planning to eventually have a tasting room but until then we’ll continue to learn about their wines at festivals. Our gold star here goes to the Yesterday which is a sauvignon Blanc.

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Chateau O’Brien-We haven’t visited Howard in a long time so we need to plan a trip there soon. It was nice to see some familiar faces at the booth though. Our gold stars here go to the 2007 Northpoint Rose and the 2008 Virginia Apple Wine.

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First Colony-Our gold stars went to the 2008 Viognier and the 2006 Late Harvest. Both very nice wines.

After visiting all the winery booths we got some lunch and then wandered around enjoying all the vendor booths. I had to buy some kettle corn and some peanut brittle. It was really good. We also enjoyed the live music at the event. We even picked up some reusable shopping bags from the Giant booth.

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It was great day and the weather was perfect. We enjoyed all the wine, food, and vendors. We even considered getting a Buick LaCrosse at one point! If you happen to visit any of the wineries mentioned please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

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Wine Festival At The Plains

On Saturday Warren and I attended The Commonwealth Polo and WIne Event at The Plains. As you can see from the photos on the last post, it was a beautiful setting at Great Meadow. Even though the skies were cloudy and it was a little chilly for early September there was no rain which made it perfect for enjoying wine tasting, browsing the exhibits, and watching the polo matches. We had a great time.

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Our focus of course was on the wines. There were many wineries tasting at the event. Many of the wineries we’ve visited before but there were also a few new ones. Here’s a listing of most of the wineries we visited at the festival and which wines got our gold stars.

Gabriele Rausse Winery-Stars go to the 2007 Refosco and the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve.

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Philip Carter Winery-Stars go to the recently released 2008 Chardonnay and the Meritage. We plan to visit Philip Carter soon because they have some new wines coming out this fall.

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Gadino Cellars-Our gold stars were given to the 2007 Viognier and the 2007 Cabernet Franc…both really nice, strong wines. We have to make a visit to the winery soon.

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Aspen Dale-We had a great time visiting with Shay McNeal when we visited Aspen Dale Winery so it was nice to see her again at the tasting booth. Our gold star here goes to the 2008 Parris Country Blend Merlot.

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Fox Meadow Winery-We haven’t been here in a long time so it was nice to taste their current offerings. Our gold stars went to the 2008 Riesling and the 2006 Merlot.

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Miracle Valley-We’ve visited this one a few times and always enjoy their wines. Our gold star here goes to the 2008 Cabernet Franc.

Holly Grove Vineyard-This is a new one to us. We are curious to make a trip to the eastern shore for a visit sometime. Our gold star here went to the 2008 Sunset Rose.

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Bright Meadow-This is another new one to us. We’ll have to plan a trip down south for this one. Our gold star here went to the Burley Red.

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After our tasting we made our way to the the food vendors and had ourselves some brick oven pizza with a bottle of Parris Country Blend Merlot from Aspen Dale. It went beautifully with our spicy pizza.

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After enjoying our lunch, we took some time to enjoy the polo matches that were taking place right in front of us. The arrangement of the food vendors, seating areas, and shopping vendors was perfect for enjoying the polo while enjoying other activities. Warren has decided he’d like to learn how to play polo!

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At the end of the polo matches, we did a little shopping at different exhibits. We left with some peanut brittle and some biscotti. We loaded up our purchases and headed home. It was a long day but one we thoroughly enjoyed. If you visit any of the wineries mentioned, please tell them Virginia Wine Time sent you!

Wine Festival At The Plains

Warren and I went to Great Meadow today for The Wine Festival at The Plains. There were lots of wineries tasting their wines, lots of venders selling their wares, and polo matches on the green! Here are a few photos from the day. A more detailed article will be coming soon.

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A Day In Pictures

Today we arrived in Charlottesville ready to talk and taste wine. We began with a conversation with Michael Shaps about viognier. We then had lunch at Kluge followed by a great impromptu conversation with Kirsty Harmon at Blenheim. Big things happening there! We continued on to Sugarleaf for a tasting and ended our day at Keswick just before they closed. Here are a few pictures from the day. A full report will be forth coming.

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Vineyard View

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Bud Break

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